Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My family talks with our hands.

If, like me, you sat through "Meet the Fockers", you may remember that the only redeeming character was the adorable signing baby.

And if you watched the video linked above, you saw an even cuter little baby signing with her mom. And you may be thinking that is impossible.

But it's not! I tried baby sign with my son when he was very young, starting around 4 months, and he never really got into it. He understood a few signs, but he never reciprocated and, since I was the only one working on it with him, there wasn't a lot of consistency, and I gave it up.

But they recently introduced baby sign at his daycare, and HE LOVES IT. Being a boy, he doesn't have the same level of vocabulary his female-majority classmates enjoy (again, he understands a lot, but doesn't repeat a lot back). Unless he knows the sign for a word. If he can sign it, he can say it.

This may seem counter-intuitive. A lot of people worry that signing with their baby will cause their child to speak later, since they'll just be using the signs. But signing actually helps a child understand the principles of communication, and that words and meanings are associated with objects. Also, the signing adult, consciously or not, is typically communicating better with the child, facing them so that the child can see the sign, but the child is also watching their mouth and learning how to form the words.

If you have, or are expecting a little one, pick up a book on baby sign. It's probably only going to run you about $20, and you could be doing both yourself and your child a huge favor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People who talk with their hands are prone to great things. That's a fact.

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